First Week Round-up

It’s the end of the first week with a new client in Munich. Despite the storm on Thursday (didn’t impact Munich too much apart from the S-Bahn being suspended from 20:00 on Thursday night) we’ve made some great progress.

I’ve tried to do a lot of listening this week and have taken part in several meetings as an observer. Some of the other activities this week have included:

  • Team formation. The pilot project will be reasonably large with in excess of 10 active team members. My recommendation has been to split this team into 2 Scrum teams, each of which sits together and tackles vertical slices of functionality based initially on particular functional areas. This recommendation has been, in principle, taken on board. We’re still sorting out some of the seating arrangements.
  • Training workshops. We’ve identified three days of training to which the team members will be invited. The first of these, focussing on agile values and principles took place on Thursday. Unfortunately, the exercise that I usually like new agile inductees to do on the first day (based on the well-known XP Game), had to be abandoned due to the storm warning. We captured lots of useful insight into some of the key issues that will be encountered as this client tries to introduce agile methods. I’ll be maintaining a log of these issues and tracking how we address them. The next workshop will on Friday next week when we’ll be taking a closer look at Scrum and User Stories and putting the theory into practice with a fun exercise.
  • Product backlog. We’ve started to create the product backlog. Today I facilitated a User Story writing workshop for one of the functional areas. This had real customer involvement and produced some really useful results. It went quite slowly but definitely a good start and subsequent workshops will get faster.

Other Munich observations:

  • I last worked in Munich in 1993. Either it’s changed a lot or I have, or perhaps we both have. It seems much more open and more multi-cultural and a more comfortable place to be. I feel good here.
  • I’ve been staying in the Derag Max Emmanuel Hotel in the Munich area Haidhausen. My room is effectively a small apartment with its own mini-kitchen and even a small terrace. Very good value (80 Euro a night), clean and comfortable – recommended. I found the hotel through ratestogo.com. All other web sites that I tried when looking for accommodation had very limited availability due to the Bau 2007 trade fair that has been taking place this week. The web site was uncomplicated, they have a fair concellation policy and they had accomodation available when others didn’t – also recommended.

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